Phuket is an exotic destination for any traveler. Everything from luxury hotels, turquoise colored beaches, bendy palm trees, tasty Thai delicacies; there is truly something for everyone. If you are backpacker hoping across Thailand or on a luxury vacation staying in only the best and luxurious hotels, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Here is a list of everything you must do in 24 hours.
We hired a driver from our hotel’s concierge at The Thavorn Beach Village Resort. We paid $800 Baht ($25 USD) for 6 hours and 6 locations. The concierge did a great job at giving us the best price and even gave us tips on what to see.
1. Monkey Hill
If you are an animal lover like myself, you are bound to enjoy the company of the local Macaques at Monkey Hill.
Also known as Toh Sae Hill, Monkey Hill is located in Phuket town on the east side of the Island and is the highest hill in Phuket. Ask your driver or use google maps to get you to the right place. The hill is open from 7 AM – 10 PM, the best time to visit is during midday or sunset.
Once you get there leave your personal belongings in the car. The path up the hill is filled with many monkeys and their babies. I will be honest it was hard to handle how adorable these little guys were. They are not as cute and fluffy as they look, some of them can be furious.
The best way to interact with the monkeys is by feeding them peanuts. If you are going to do that just remember they will climb up on you. The best thing to do is to remain calm and not panic.
At the top of the hill you are greeted with the spectacular view of the whole city with the ocean in the distance. If you plan on visiting during the sunset, the city will be illuminated in a golden glow.
2. Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is the biggest Buddha statue in all of Phuket and is located in South Phuket. The statue is 40 meters tall and sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills, it is hard to miss and can be seen from a distance.
The statue is made of pure white marble and looks beautiful against the light. There is a strict dress code, no short shorts, no tank tops. They provide women with shawls to cover themselves while visiting, just remember to return it once you are done.
The hill provides a panoramic view of the city, with the beach on one side and the bustling city on the other. You can also catch a beautiful sunset from this hill.
3. Party in Patong Beach
During the day Patong Beach is crowded with tourist enjoying basking in the sun, parasailing, jet skiing or just strolling around the busy city. The best thing about Patong Beach is that it comes alive at night. Patong Beach is located on the west side of the island. There are 100s of bars, night clubs, hipster cafes, and authentic Thai restaurants. It’s no wonder why countless tourist flock to this place to have a once in a lifetime experience.
For a first time visit, it can be an overwhelming experience. The neon lights, the crowd, the loud music, and night club workers coming up to you and asking you to come to see ladyboys. The best thing to do is just take it slow, let the experience come to you. I recommend doing this at least once.
4. Go wild in a Tuk Tuk
One of the things that Thailand is famous for is their unique Tuk Tuks. These incredible and powerful machines are found anywhere in Phuket, particularly around the busy parts of the island, like Patong Beach. We took a Tuk Tuk from Patong Beach to our hotel, enjoyed some cold beers and house music while sitting in the back, all while it was raining. It was an experience that is unforgettable. This is a must do!
5. Karon View Point
There are so many viewpoints in Phuket its hard to go them all, but the best and most popular is Karon View Point. Located in southern Phuket, the viewpoint offers spectacular views of the Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon beaches. It is easy to see why this is the most popular viewpoint and the most crowded. The best time to visit is midday or before sunset. I recommend getting there an hour before sunset and grabbing a good seat to watch the sun go down. It is the perfect way to end the day.
6. Old Town Phuket
Old town Phuket is the heart of Phuket, it is where the new and old blend together to bring a unique and authentic experience for any traveler. In this historical part of town, you will find ancient temples, beautiful colored buildings that make for the perfect Instagram picture, and it is a shoppers paradise.
Take a stroll through the Walking Street. Sandwiched between two buildings it can be easy to miss, so make sure to look out for a sign. The long street is filled with small vendors and stalls serving food, desserts, and souvenirs.
On the other side of the Walking Street is the real Old Town Phuket, The Phuket Walking Street. Every Sunday the street is closed to cars and bikes and is filled with small vendors serving some of the best Thai delicacies. You can find everything from the infamous Pad Thai to delicious desserts. The street is open from 4 -10 PM. If you are looking for an authentic Thai Taste, Old Town Phuket is a must visit. Don’t forget to try the fresh watermelon juice, perfect for a hot day!
7. Island Hopping
If you only had one day and wanted to experience the best of Thailand. I would recommend taking a trip to the Phi Phi Islands. There are many companies that offer tours to multiple islands throughout the day. Our tour company took us to about 6 islands. Stopping along the way to different islands, sometimes snorkeling in the blue waters or seeing monkey at the monkey island. The tour company also provides you with lunch during the day on one of the big islands.
The best thing to do is take a longtail boat for you and your group so you have flexibility and privacy. Big tour companies stick to a schedule and you often don’t have much time at one island.
Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don are among the two star islands and are always the most crowded. Which is why I recommend hiring a private longtail boat, so you have some privacy and truly get to experience the island the way its meant to be.
All of the experiences that I mentioned above are just my opinion and in no way the best way to experience Phuket. I had reserched in advanced of all the experiences and attractions. There are many other things you could do in Phuket, Party all day or just relax at your 5 star hotel. It is totally up to you!
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